You surely read this lots of times: Turismo Carretera always has sourprises. For everyone. The most popular category in Argentina put together 30000 people in the circuit of RÃo Cuarto, province of CÃ³rdoba place of the twelfth round of the 2003...
You surely read this lots of times: Turismo Carretera always has sourprises. For everyone. The most popular category in Argentina put together 30000 people in the circuit of Río Cuarto, province of Córdoba place of the twelfth round of the 2003 Championship. We were all waiting for a great show. And we had one.
Of this competition the statistic will say that Omar Martínez won with the Ford, followed by two Chevrolets, the champion Guillermo Ortelli and the almost unknown Omar Tanoni. But much more happened in this 24 laps race of last sunday.
The main race started with the two Chevrolet contenders for the championship, Christian Ledesma and Guillermo Ortelli in the first row. Martínez and Oscar Rama took the second row, followed by Patricio Di Palma and Tanoni.
In the first turn already the bumps began. Martínez hit Ortelli in the door and both lost many places. Behind them a multi-car incident involved a half-dozen cars: J. M. Traverso, Emanuel Moriatis, J.M. Silva, Fabián Acuña, Roberto Urretavizcaya and Henry Martin.
The Pace Car entered to neutralize the race during three laps. After the melee of the firt turn the classification was: Ledesma, P. Di Palma. Roberto Del bo, Fontana, Ortelli and Tononi. Martínez was ninth.
In the re-start quickly Di Palma passed Ledesma, but only for a one turn because the Chevrolet driver re-took the leading. It was the moment of Fontana to attack. He passed Di Palma and then Ledesma to take the first place with the fastest lap included. All that in one lap and a half.
While Fontana was in the command of the field, the battle between Di Palm and Fontana was rough. A bump of the Torino driver in the Chevrolet rear spoiler made Ledesma went to pits thinking he had a puncture in the rear left tire. With this the leader of the standings until Río Cuarto lost the chances of a new podium this season and the head of the tournament.
Ten laps completed and Fontana was in the lead with a good gap over Di Palma. Then were Ortelli, Del bo, Tanoni and Martínez, who was trying to advance in a very good Ford.
The 15 lap was the moment of the second intervention of the Pace Car because of a car in bad place.
In lap 17 after the second re-start, Ledesma was 30th. looking at least for a point, while Ernesto Bessone was out of race after another horrible sunday. The championship dream looks far fot him in this days.
When it left four laps only to the chequered flag, Martínez passed Ortelli for the third position and Di Palma was geting closer the leader Fontana. To close.
The final lap arrived and with this the moment of definition. A couple of turns before the straight a friction between the cars complicates both. Di Palma wins the position and passed Norberto by the inside in a brilliant move and leaves the Torino in a middle of the track. Fontana couldn`t or didn`t want to could, and hit Patricio, who spin-off and lost control of his car. Fontana crossed the arrive as winner and enjoyed the moment going to the podium almost knowing the disqualification was obvious. The Stewards gave him 15 seconds and put him in the seventh final position while Di Palma finished sixth after all.
Fontana suffered a situation like this a couple of weeked ago in T.C. 2000, when he passed Marcelo Bugliotti in a bad move trying to get a podium. This is Fontana`s style. The fomer F-1 driver didn`t argumented the decision, he just accepted it and went home thinking how to win the next time.
Martínez received a fantastic gift and was very happy. This was the result he need after a couple of bad races. He arrived to Río Cuarto with no ballast and took advantage of that adding to this his experience of 140 races in Turismo Carretera. This was the third victory this season and the 18 since his debut in 1994.
¨I think this is an award for all the worked we did. We were with a car with no ballast and that made us competitives. I knew it was difficult to follow thr rhythmn of some cars, but I'm happy with the work done¨, commented the winner.
For Ortelli was another happy day. Guillermo came to this race as the last winner and left as leader in the championship with 160,5 points near followed by Ledesma, who ended 28th., with 157,5. Martínez moved on to the third place in the standings with 128 and knows he can`t loose more points if he want to fight until the last competition the 2003 championship. The same situation for Diego Aventín, 122 points. The Ford driver couldn`t start the main race in a weekend to forget for him. Bessone is fifth with 121,5.
A great result took Omar Tanoni who scored third after an excellent all the weekend in the Chevrolet. Is the best result for him in 15 races in T.C.
The Tursimo Carretera will continue with the sourprises on October 5th. at the circuit of Paraná. Just be ready.